Either your browser's javascript has been disabled or it needs an update! Please re-enable your javascript program or update your browser to view this page as designed.
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2007!
PCR Archives 2007 PCR Archives 2006
PCR Archives 2005 PCR Archives 2004
PCR Archives 2003 PCR Archives 2002
PCR Archives 2001 PCR Archives 2000
Email PCR
The Tampa Film Review for May  by Nolan B. Canova and Chris Woods
"Shrek the Third"  by Mike Smith
Joe D. Casey, R.I.P.  by Mark Terry
George Miller, It's Time to Return to the Road....Tampa Comic Con - May 2007....28 Weeks Later....Local Filmmaker JD Casey Passes....July 2007 Shaping Up to be a Great New Wave Concert Month  by Andy Lalino
Wasn't That--?....Passing On....Technical Glitches, Yeah, That's The Ticket....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 20: Dennis Franz  by Mike Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 373  (Vol. 8, No. 20). This edition is for the week of May 14--20, 2007.

The Tampa Film Review for May

by Nolan B. Canova and Chris Woods

Nolan here. With Terence Nuzum having decided to sit this TFR out, this month you have Chris Woods and me writing up the reviews.

After a white-knuckle, detour-filled, bumpy ride down an extended under-construction part of Kennedy Blvd (and having been stopped for directions by the very truck we were following, figuring he knew where he was going), Chris decided to cross over to Bayshore Blvd and take the longer way downtown, and nearby Ybor City.

Even with the sidetrack and delay we managed to make it to the International Bazaar, the site of the monthly fest, by about quarter to eight. Enough time to get in the proverbial quick cigarette and talk to the first few of the faithful to arrive. Those would count Roderick Colbert, Jon Wolding and Jen Persons (and her sister), John Matheny, Joel & Cathy Wynkoop, and, of course, the Brothers Guzzo, Paul & Pete.

Over the past several months, I've struggled to come up with a TFR review color code for this page to help identify when a different reviewer "speaks" to the reader. This has only been partially successful as each of us is still getting comments/complaints on what another reviewer wrote. So, to help clear this up even further, starting with this issue, the reviewers name along with the color code will be used when the reviewer voice changes.

All plot synopsises or general descriptions, usually written by Paul Guzzo (or myself if there's no description provided), will be in black.
Nolan Canova's reviews will be in Navy blue.
Chris Woods' reviews will be in purple.

Here we go...

Catch and Release by D. Andrew Hamilton (part of Canadian film exchange program): 14:20min. A writing hermitage to his family cottage turns into an existential journey for Scott. A chance encounter with his old fishing buddy Charlie forces Scott to question his personal philosophy. Charlie and Scott, who share little more than their fishing trips as kids, deal very differently with fate's unpredictability. At their favorite fishing hole, their approaches to life collide and Scott is forced to decide whether or not to change his life.
Nolan: Very enjoyable story of two boys who are fishing buddies, grow up and get separated, then re-encounter each other in adult life. Through a series of events, they wind up back at their same fishing hole, talking about their life experiences and where their different paths led them. Cute little epilogue suggests one became the filmmaker who produced Catch & Release. Well-shot, well-acted and one of the better Canadian fare to come into the TFR this year (most past efforts to come in from the Great White North have been kinda lame, sorry to say). The story is one that has been done many times before, the then-and-now, slice of life philisophical dramas that can too often test my patience. The challenge for each new generation of filmmakers is how to put a unique and personal spin on this type of story. I think Catch & Release went a long way toward that goal. Recommended.
Chris: Good short film from Canada. Great actors as well, both the kids that played the two friends in their younger years and the two that played the two characters in their adult years were very good. Nice cinematography through out the film. The story dragged a little toward the middle then through out the end. The film reminded me of an after school special of some sort. The story for me, didn’t catch my interest, but might grab the interest to others. The acting is worth checking out the film. Good.

100 Tears extended gore trailer/preview. Director: Marcus Koch. 3:39min.
Nolan: Tagline: "Everyone Loathes a Clown". Two tabloid reporters on the trail of a homicidal, axe-wielding circus clown on a non-stop murderous rampage. The encounters with and stonewalling by the carnival culture tests their resolve. In the special extended trailer, we get wall-to-wall, non-stop explosive gore with all "regular action" scenes removed save two brief ones (the "sh*t my pants" scene with Joe Davison and "Carny Law" scene with Jerry Alan is about all the relief you're going to get. In the original two-minute trailer there was a little more in the way of dramatic narrative to give an idea what the story's about). Marcus Koch's highly-anticipated splatter-fest probably cannot get any more jam-packed with murders and this "extended gore preview" will test the strongest stomachs. With only one other director credit on his resumé (1999's zombie/punk film ROT), Marcus Koch has obviously picked up a lot of pointers from the dozens of productions he's worked on as a special effects make-up artist. 100 Tears is beautifully shot, yet with a scarily seedy underground veneer. Star Joe Davison provided the story and achors the film as one of the two reporters. Joe is always enjoyable in these kinds of roles. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THIS FILM!
NOTE: Marcus also showed a 10-minute preview of the film with some scenes shown in near entirety. However, they include some mild spoilers and he requested the details not be discussed in this review.
Very Highly Recommended (Well, unless you're repulsed by gore -- then I'd advise staying as far away from this as you can. I imagine it will have to be released unrated.)
Chris: This is the most anticipated film in the bay area right now. We got a look at the trailer to the film last month. This month we got a 10 min. sneak peek at the film that featured tons of great gore. Also the film looks great. The photography, lighting, the colors, the actors, the blood, and the gore all look awesome. I can’t wait to see this film. Very highly recommended.

Robota by Marc Berteaux (part of Canadian film exchange program): 10 min. Robota is a short stop-motion animated film done entirely in Lego. The story focuses on a homeless robot, Robota, who panhandles for change. One day, Robota manages to get enough money to make a bet at a local cockfight. The chicken she bets on wins by cheating causing a brawl amongst the macho robot crowd. Robota narrowly escapes and takes the subway to the medical clinic where she makes her dream come true, well, kind of....
Nolan: Flat-out fantastic stop-motion fest. In this world inhabited by robots, the robots, the city, the machinery are all made from LEGO toy pieces. No dialogue, none needed, as our "hero" finds a possible way to cure a personal affliction. The second of two amazing movies from Canada this month helps reinstate my faith in those North of the border. Very Highly Recommended and tie for Film of the Night.
Chris: Great stop-motion animation. In today’s world of CGI animation, it’s cool to see stop-motion once again. Very entertaining film from Canada that packed a punch. Would love to watch this film again. I think this film could be a top contender in animation categories at film festivals and award shows such as the Oscars. Had a very good story as well and working with stop-motion animation myself back in the day, I know that this film must've taken many months to work on 'cause stop-motion isn’t easy and takes a long time to shoot. Very highly recommended.

“Rudi”: A music video featuring performer Miriam Chemmoss. (Tampa resident Gred Baldi was DP for the video.)
Nolan: Nice. I am not a fan of this kind of music but I know a well-crafted video when I see one. The cute girl singer definitely knows how to play the camera. Very good.
Chris: Very well-crafted video of R&B, Reggie, and Hip-Hop. Not my type of music but the video was very eye-catching, due to the beautiful female singer. Excellent cinematography, well edited, and great sound make this worth a look. Recommended.

John by Vito Dinatolo: When John tries to dispose of a dead body before work, the nightmare is only beginning. About 10 mins.
Nolan: What's interesting is we're not sure whether a murder has actually taken place -- even John isn't sure when the body (presumably that of a former girlfriend) starts disappearing and reappearing as he seeks to dispose of it. Guilt becomes shock becomes confusion as he starts to doubt his sanity and converses with a friend about the nature of reality. Nicely-shot and well-acted, the long delay until the opening credits (which very slowly roll out) make it seem like we're in for a much longer movie. Presumably done for enhanced dramatic effect, it can easily confuse an audience. Other than that, not a bad flick at all. Recommended.
Chris: Very interesting short from L.A. An eerie tale where a man, John is not sure if he murdered a young woman. Some good characters, a good story, great photography with a little film noir look to it. And some cool visual effects. The story keeps you thinking. But, they’re a few marks against it. The opening starts out very well and keeps you in suspense. But, after John finds the dead girl and puts her in his car, it seemed like 5 or more minutes have past and then finally the credits appeared. This would be fine if it was for a feature but not good for a short. I thought the movie was over when the credits appeared. Many filmmakers do this and use long credits in the beginning of their short film or show the credits way too late in the film. This is not good. Just flash the tags, company, director, and title in the beginning and then start the movie. Save most of the credits for the end on a short. Also, after awhile the story started to move slow and had a better start than an end. But, I would like to watch the film again to really better judge it, because it did have some great moments. Recommended.

To Live Is To Die by Chris Woods & Simon Lynx as ICON Film Studios: About 12 mins. A group of college students are asked to share non-fictional stories in the writing class. Strangely enough the authors fall victim to their own tales.
Nolan: One of Chris Woods' and Simon Lynx's better ventures, a combination of black-and-white and color photography enhances the dreamy nature of what seems to be a POV story of a college-writing-class-gone-wild, haha. Nice script, very good performances, and one of the first appearances of Jereme Badger. Simon Lynx plays the "dark stranger in the hat and trench coat" as he did in several ICON productions. Heavy existentialism, a Lynx trademark, comes into play here, but not to a distracting degree. A love story sneaks in and a moving final act wraps it up. Tech note: this was shot several years ago on one of the first generation Digital-8 cameras and the image really holds up well in today's increasingly Hi-Def world. Recommended.
Chris: (Chris Woods had to recuse himself from jury as he is this film's director.)

The Part starring Joel Wynkoop: About 15 mins. A sick monster of a man is cured of his murderous ways, onto to be turned back into a killer by B-movie producers.
Nolan: "HEY, I'M JUST PRACTICING FOR THE PART!" That line reverberated through my head for days after watching this dark-comedy starring local madman Joel D. Wynkoop, originally released around 2001. Co-stars Gus Perez, Cathy Holseybrook-Wynkoop and Rick Sousa are the mental institution's caretaker-staff and have nurtured our boy through his rehabilitation from crazed killer to nerdy shy-boy. In an effort to re-enter society, Wynkoop's now comically normal character auditions for the part of a crazed killer for a couple of seedy producers (played with great comic relish by former Tampa residents Mark Nash and Kevin Bangos). Showing more enthusiasm than talent, he's told to go out and "practice for the part" for three weeks so that when their boss arrives from out of town, he'll be ready for his final audition. The practice entails Joel running around wielding weapons, jumping out from behind bushes and scaring the daylights out of people, only to stop at a crucial part, erupt with laughter and scream as they're running away, "Hey, I'm just practicing for the part!" Unfortunately for at least one victim, some of his old character starts to surface into chilling reality, When the day comes to audition, the backward transition completes in a crazed frenzy (a Wynkoop trademark). Back at the institute, a surprise ending casts doubt on who is actually running the place. The performances are really what pull this off, and even though it's admittedly shot with that low/zero-budget video look (fairly typical of Perez/Wynkoop forays) it still garners a rating of Very Highly Recommended and tie for Film of the Night.
Chris: This horror-comedy was the hit of the night in my opinion. Joel D. Wynkoop gives another amazing performance. Joel is great comedic actor and can pull off the serious or crazed roles as well in his films. The film starts off as a great comedy, some of it reminding me of a classic Saturday Night Live skit or other comedy variety shows of the 1970’s or the great Mel Brooks films of that area. Wynkoop’s charater who is a rehabilitated psycho killer who wants to be a movie star, auditions for a part as a psycho killer in a b-movie. The funniest part of the film is Wynkoop running around scaring everyone to practice for the part. The hilarious bit he does is after he terrifies someone he just laughs at them and yells, “I’m just practicing for the part!”, and then runs away. It was so cool after a while the audience was speaking along with Joel’s character as he said the now famous line. Another turning point in the film is toward the end when Joel turns from comedic to very serious when he murders a woman in a hotel room. Wynkoop pulls this transformation off excellently. From coming to a point when your laughing out loud to watching Joel become the crazed psycho killer again and the film turns very dark and serious at that moment and goes toward a Twilight Zone vibe. The supporting cast is awesome as well. Gus Perez and Cathy Holseybrook-Wynkoop who play the doctors that release Joel from the mental hospital, do an excellent job in their roles. Also, Mark Nash, who plays a B-Movie producer, is just awesome in that character. This film is a must see. I believe Joel said at TFR, that this film was a part of the anthology film, Twisted Illusions 2. So, go buy or rent it! It’s worth it. Very highly recommended and The Film of the Night.

Announcements were made by Tampa film commissioner Krista Soroka regarding improvements in Florida's film incentive program. From memory, I believe the top end was increased from $20 to 25 million and the low end was reduced to $100,000. Good news indeed for area filmmakers.

More announcements were made from a representative of the 48-Hour Film Project which is coming to Tampa for the first time.

I neglected picking up some literature about these topics while at the TFR, I wish I had so I'd have more details, but the film commissioner's newspage can be accessed at visittampabay.com

Visit www.thetampafilmreview.com for more info on the Tampa Film Review.

The Rockin' Sports Bar
Good turn-out at our current post-TFR watering hole that night! Corey Castellano, Chris Woods, Shelby McIntyre, Lisa Ciurro, Gus Perez, Joel & Cathy Wynkoop, Paul Guzzo, Marcus Koch, Mr. and Mrs. John Matheny, and yours truly made up the population of our three pushed-together tables.

"The Tampa Film Review for May" is ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova and Chris Woods.

All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.

Back to Top  |  Back to Home